1. Why did you leave India?
To really see what was attracting so many of my colleagues abroad.
2. Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
Certainly hope to. In a dream house in Bangalore!
3. What do you like most about being abroad?
Presence of a system (that works!!) for everything.
4. What do like least about being abroad?
At the end of the day, despite all my mingling, I am still a person from outside, a foreigner.
5. Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
I thought I was not. But now I am. How do you make sure that your kids can prosper in a society that you have not grown up in, and at the same time, how do you make sure they know about their roots.
6. What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
Too late on that one. I am already married to someone from my own community, same language/religion.
7. What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
Stress on two aspects:
a) Job creation -- "it is the economy, stupid", and
b) Education -- so that future generations can prosper economically -- also, population control, corruption, pollution, etc. will become a moot point if everyone understands their implications.
8. What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
9. What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
Lack of self-pride amongst Indians. Only if we start believing in our community, will we prosper.
10. Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
No. It's absence (or presence) is not the root cause of India's problems.
11. For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
12. Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
I am not sure about "as a sporting nation" part -- but it definitely brings people from all walks of life together.
13. What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
It has been a vibrant democracy over the years despite all the problems.
14. What is your favourite pastime?
15. What is your happiest memory?
The care-free abandon of childhood.
16. What's your most memorable journey?
The Mumbai-Goa busride. Beautiful ghats!
17. What is your ultimate food dish?
18. What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
any Indiana Jones or James Bond movie.
19. What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
20. A message from you to other NRIs
Live where you belong. If you cannot do so, strive to belong where you live!
Meet Jai. He currently lives in Dallas, USA and works in the Finance industry.
Published - February 2001
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The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.